Friday, August 29, 2008


Dir: Ron Howard, 1989 (10*)

For me, this is the most rewarding Ron Howard film, both heartwarming and very funny. Based on the structure of Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters, which they admired for weaving together several separate stories of one big family, this does the same with four related families and all their children. Steve Martin turns in his most accessible performance as the main character, Mary Steenburgen is his wife, Jason Robards his father, wayward ne'er do well son Tom Hulce turns up (with his kid named "Cool"), and brother-in-law Rick Moranis plays a father obsessed with his gifted daughter's intellectual superiority. Diane Wiest is another sister, divorced, whose rebellious daughter Martha Plimpton, refuses to stop seeing daredevil racer Keanu Reeves. Howard makes all these stories work together (and the large ensemble), and the kids are all perfect, the birthday party is one you'll never forget. The terrific Randy Newman song, "I Love to See You Smile" was inspired by Steenburgen.
Quote: You're not really a real person; you're an amalgam of all the ushers my dad paid to watch me over the years.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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